From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Williams chaired a task force within the American Psychological Association. That task force, The Interdivisional Task Force on Licensing Board Problems and Issues, determined that practicing psychologists needed a guide to assist them in responding to licensing complaints. Some of the same skills and personality traits that make a person an excellent psychotherapist can also make a person ill suited to deal with the adversarial world of administrative law. The members of that task force co-authored a book, “Surviving a Licensing Complaint: What to Do, What Not to Do.” This book will be offered by Zeig, Tucker and Theisen Publishers in April, 2008. Click here to view or download the PDF version of the book flyer, or click here to order the book from Amazon.com
Therapist-Patient Sex Twenty Years Later: A View From the Courtroom
Dr. Williams has written about what has happened to Therapist-Patient Sex litigation in the twenty years since this problem first came to widespread attention. His article, "Therapist-Patient Sex Twenty Years Later: A View From the Courtroom," will appear in the National Psychologist (http://www.nationalpsychologist.com/) in two installments in 2008. >> click here
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Experience of Trauma (Criterion A) is Not Subjective
In this recent article, Dr. Williams writes about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, as a psychiatric diagnosis that is overused in civil litigation. Plaintiffs inappropriately claim to suffer from PTSD despite the fact they they did not experience a life-threatening, horrific circumstance. The role of subjectivity in psychiatric diagnosis is explored and the objective criteria for PTSD are explained. >> click here
Risk Management: How Your Malpractice Insurer Created Testimony Against You
In this article, presented at the 2007 convention of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Williams discusses how well-intended risk management advice creates a new standard of care, leading to increased malpractice claims against psychotherapists. >> click here
Killing As A Psychological Service
Dr. Williams discusses the often overlooked roles of psychologists in law enforcement and military contexts. In these realms, psychologists may actually facilitate or support killing, something typically overlooked in discussions of psychological ethics. The article appeared in the National Psychologist, Nov/Dec. 2006. >> click here
Psychological Mitigation in Plea Bargains
Dr. Williams discusses the use of psychological evaluations to assist both defense and prosecution in understanding the motivation and personality characteristics of the criminal defendant. Dr. Williams explains how he has assisted his clients in negotiating plea bargains after they underwent psychological evaluations. >> click here
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Versus Simple Anger: Did the Plaintiff Experience a Trauma or a Merely a Grievance?
Plaintiff attorneys should be well advised to carefully consider their claims of PTSD, lest they and their experts find themselves on shaky ground in court. Read the entire article >> click here
Sexual Harassment--Objective Evaluation of Damages:
Dr. Williams has recently published an article about the role of objective psychological testing in evaluating harm which results from sexual harassment. One test in particular, the MMPI-2, can provide evidence of damage--or lack thereof---that may be remarkably free from allegations of litigation-based bias. This article, "Objective Assessment of Emotional Damage Caused by Sexual Harassment," was published on the Expertpages.com web site.
Sexual abuse and malpractice:
The American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct has evolved to play a major role in malpractice matters both in civil court and before regulatory boards. Dr. Williams addresses the need to curtail the adverse and inappropriate uses of The Code in his recent article, "APA Ethics Committee Considered Prohibiting Solo Practice," which appeared in the Independent Practitioner, Winter 2000.
Psychotherapists are sometimes accused of malpractice even though they are blameless. This is discussed in Dr. Williams' latest article, "Victimized by 'Victims:' A Taxonomy of Antecedents of False Complaints Against Psychotherapists," which was published in the journal, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice (January, 2000).
Dr. Williams contributed a chapter, "Deposing an Expert Witness in a Psychotherapeutic Malpractice Case," which appears in the recently updated, Lawyers' Guide to Medical Proof published by Matthew Bender (April, 1999).
Dr. Williams discusses current issues in psychotherapy malpractice in his article, "Boundary Violations: Do Some Contended Standards of Care Fail to Encompass the Procedures of Humanistic, Behavioral and Eclectic Psychotherapies?" which appears in the journal, Psychotherapy, the Journal of the Division of Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association, in the Fall, 1997 issue.
Dr. Williams' article, "Exploitation and Inference: Mapping the Damage from Therapist-Patient Sexual Involvement," which appeared in the American Psychologist in 1992, carefully reviewed the evidence that therapist-patient sex causes an unusual degree of harm (beyond the obvious harm caused by loss of ongoing treatment).
In 1995 Dr. Williams published, "How Useful Are Clinical Reports Concerning The Consequences of Therapist-Patient Sexual Involvement?" in the American Journal of Psychotherapy. This article argues that anecdotal reports of harmfulness resulting from therapist-patient sex can be misleading and can depict an exaggerated picture of damage. This is not to say that harm never occurs, but the article urges care in interpreting the reports to which we have access (which may not adequately represent the bigger picture).
In September of 1998, Dr. Williams co-authored an article entitled, Federal Court May Still Allow Junk Statistics, which appeared in the Monitor, the monthly newspaper of the American Psychological Association. This article discusses that even after the "Daubert" decision, questionable uses of statistics that would not be acceptable in peer-reviewed scientific journals may still be considered by the courts.
If you find yourself tired of the "risk management" obsession which has overtaken our field, you might enjoy the parody, "Total Risk Management," which appeared in the Psychotherapy Bulletin in 1995.